The Stanley Foundation
Seeking a secure peace with freedom and justice, built on global citizenship and effective global governance.

Operations Specialist

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Position Overview
Do you want to grow professionally while being part of a team devoted to real-world change on important global challenges? The Stanley Foundation is looking for a dedicated, dynamic individual who has a passion for working in the field of event planning to join its Operations Department. This full-time position reports to the director of operations and is part of a team that ensures that:

  • The foundation is running efficiently, embracing operational innovations, and holding the organization to high standards of sustainability.
  • The logistical elements of the foundation’s events are professional and high touch, employ innovative tools and technologies, are inclusive and representative of the foundation’s brand identity, and support content-driven goals.

About the Stanley Foundation
The Stanley Foundation advances multilateral action to create fair, just, and lasting solutions to critical issues of peace and security. The foundation’s work is built on a belief that greater international cooperation will improve global governance and enhance global citizenship. The organization values its Midwestern roots and family heritage as well as its role as a nonpartisan, private operating foundation. The Stanley Foundation does not make grants but rather carries out its own programming.

Foundation policy programming relies heavily on policy dialogues (involving US and foreign government officials, influential scholars, journalists, and nongovernmental experts). The foundation’s work also includes policy analysis and a wide variety of communication and advocacy activities to develop and build support for specific policy initiatives. Much of our programming activity is done collaboratively.

More about the foundation and our work can be found at

Essential Job Duties and Responsibilities
The operations specialist is responsible for working with foundation staff and external collaborators to plan and organize successful events. This includes:

  • Working with programming staff to understand the substance and goals of their activities so as to be able to advise and assist them with event logistics.
  • Planning and executing event logistics for programming activities as part of the foundation’s team, often in collaboration with external partners.
  • Supporting programming staff in all phases of activity development and implementation, including preparing draft activity budgets and assisting with postevent wrap-up efforts as needed.
  • Conducting event-site research.
  • Negotiating vendor and supplier contracts for events that cover hotels, catering, ground transportation, etc. Working directly with vendors to communicate event needs and ensure smooth event operations.
  • Managing the invitation and event registration process, using appropriate technology and methods to verify invitee contact information, send invitations, collect RSVPs, and track response rates.
  • Coordinating domestic and international travel arrangements for event participants through a travel agency or directly with participants. Answering participant questions and providing thorough logistical details in support of participant travel.
  • Managing all logistics for on-site events, for example, rooming lists, catering, audiovisual needs, and ground transportation, and working proactively to anticipate needs and make recommendations to programming staff as appropriate.
  • Preparing vendor invoices and participant expenses for payment and tracking event-related costs against budgets.
  • Working with communications staff to understand the organization’s brand identity and key messages and the means to best represent the brand at events.
  • Preparing documents for distribution to participants (agendas, participant lists, event details, and other documents as needed).
  • Copyediting in accordance with foundation style protocols:
    • Event materials (invitation letter, participant list, conference details, schedule, response form, agenda).
    • Final participant lists that are published in policy dialogue briefs, in conference reports, or on the Stanley Foundation Web site.
  • Working with the director of operations on special projects to identify and implement methods to streamline work processes and procedures to improve operations efficiency and effectiveness.


  • Bachelor’s degree and at least two years of experience with meeting and events planning with international experience preferred, or experience in a related industry or field (hotel, travel, or hospitality).
  • Willingness to travel several times a year in the United States and abroad (up to 20 percent of time).
  • High level of planning and organizational skills, with strong attention to details.
  • Proficient project management and prioritization skills; ability to forecast and proactively respond to changing situations.
  • Excellent decision-making, problem-solving, and verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong relationship-building and maintenance skills, with demonstrated ability to thrive in situations that require composure, flexibility, and in-the-moment ingenuity.
  • Experience with contract negotiations and budget/financial management.
  • Tech savviness, proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook and willingness to embrace relevant technology and actively improve skills through informal and formal learning. Knowledge of common computer applications, including Web-site, database, and information-management software. Aptitude for learning and using proprietary event-management software.
  • Willingness to work some evenings and weekends.

The operations specialist works under the direction of and reports to the director of operations. Applicants must be legally authorized to work in the United States. The Stanley Foundation offers competitive salaries and a full benefits package.

This position is based at the foundation headquarters, in Muscatine, Iowa, a community of 23,000 on the Mississippi River. The area offers affordable housing and a variety of recreational opportunities. Iowa City, Iowa (population 70,000)—home of the University of Iowa and the nationally recognized University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics—is a 45-minute drive from Muscatine. The Quad-City Area—comprising Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island, Illinois, with a combined population of over 350,000—is just a 40-to-50-minute drive from Muscatine. The foundation allows flexible work hours and remote work for some positions with supervisor approval.

Application Directions
Please e-mail a letter of interest, resume, and references to the attention of:

Debra Hughes
Human Resources Generalist
The Stanley Foundation
209 Iowa Avenue
Muscatine, IA 52761
Phone: 563-264-6888

Deadline for application: This position will remain open until filled.

We are an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, pregnancy, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other characteristic protected by law.

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